Whispering Palms School capped its perfect run in the girls division of the 2013-2014 NMIFA/PSS Interscholastic Football League with a 1-0 title win over San Antonio Elementary School last Saturday at the Hopwood Junior High School Field.
It was Whispering Palms’ first championship in the U12 competition, joining the company of former winners Williams S. Reyes Elementary School (2008), Dandan Elementary School (2009), Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School (2010 and 2012), and Oleai Elementary School (2011).
Guinevere Borja made the lone goal in the title match, scoring in the 23rd minute of the 40-minute game. Borja was eventually handed the Golden Boot award for making the most goals in the season, while teammate Amber Montenegro took the Golden Glove plum. Joining Borja and Montenegro on the champion team were Makena Carrasco, Subin Cho, Ellie Epley, Erin Frink, Maria Gregoire, Mia Hirsh, Marina Inoue, Sally Lee, Jin Ju Thompson, Talia Trianni, Gillian Villagomez, and Shea Basham. Jeff Race and Mark Epley coached Whispering Palms.
The newly crowned champion was on the Northern Group of the IFL and topped its division after posting a clean 4-0-0 win-draw-loss record in the regular season. Whispering Palms was bracketed with GTC (3-0-1), Garapan Elementary School (1-1-2), Oleai (0-2-2), and Mount Carmel School (0-1-3). Erstwhile champion GTC and Whispering Palms went on to advance to the round-robin playoffs after finishing in the Top 2 in their pool, joining Southern Group’s San Antonio Elementary School (4-1-0) and WSR (3-2-0). Other schools entered in the Southern Group and missing the playoffs were Koblerville Elementary School (3-1-1), Dandan (2-0-3), San Vicente Elementary School (1-0-4), and Kagman Elementary School (0-0-5).
In the playoffs, Whispering Palms shut out WSR in the first round last Tuesday, 3-0, while San Antonio edged GTC, 1-0. Whispering Palms went on to seal the first finals berth after beating San Antonio last Wednesday, 2-0, and forcing a 1-1 draw against GTC last Thursday. San Antonio recovered from a second round loss with a 1-0 triumph over WSR to notch the second and last finals ticket, but failed to pull off an upset over the unbeaten Whispering Palms.
In the battle for third place, WSR eked out a 1-0 victory over GTC last Saturday. All the Top 4 finishers in the girls division received trophies, while Whispering Palms was also handed the perpetual trophy.
Meanwhile, results in the boys division of the IFL will be reported in Saipan Tribune’s Tuesday edition.